The surgical literature is poor, and the results are hugely variable, mainly because different surgical techniques have been examined. Comparing surgery to non-surgical procedures is confusing unless you’re a surgeon.
As the results of our non-surgical treatments (which are now a gold standard according the most of guidelines, including Australian and New Zealand) are so good we stopped offering surgical stripping and phlebectomy to our patients.
- Anaesthetic complications. Uncommon, and will be discussed by your anaesthetist with you before your surgery.
- DVT and Pulmonary embolus. Uncommon as we get you out of bed quickly.
- Bruising, which can be extensive, but like any bruise, will reabsorb. Occasionally a collection of blood under an incision will need to be evacuated (Uncommon).
- Skin discolouration over the removed vein. Nearly always is temporary.
- Infection. Due to the bruising, this can spread quickly, and very rarely, can be dangerous. Sometimes there is a collection of blood under an incision which can become an abscess if infected.
- Tender scar where the vein used to be, but settles.
- A tiny skin nerve might be damaged or broken when the vein is removed. There may be a sensitive area, or numb area. These do not affect muscles or joints (and thus activity), and will slowly improve, although occasionally someone may have a permanent numb area.
- Leakage of watery fluid (Serous or lymphatic) from an incision (usually from the groin and in repeat surgery).